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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Mulls Rules to Hamper Gazprom

European Union regulators are studying how plans to split up energy companies would be applied to foreign firms such as Gazprom, Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, a spokesman for the European Commission, said Thursday.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, will propose legislation on Sept. 19 calling for energy companies to separate the units that produce energy from those that distribute it, in an effort to improve competition.

The Commission's competition proposals coincide with attempts by Gazprom to acquire retail and distribution assets in Central and Western Europe. Gazprom has said it is only fair that it benefits from higher retail prices and not just function as a gas wholesaler.

The Financial Times reported Thursday that the commission was considering measures to restrict foreign companies' access to the EU's energy industry.

A spokesman for the EU Energy Commissioner declined to comment on the proposals but said reciprocity was a key part of EU energy policy, emphasizing that the rules would apply to both foreign and domestic companies.

Bloomberg, Reuters